Metal nanoparticle film–based room temperature Coulomb transistor

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Science Advances  14 Jul 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 7, e1603191
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603191


Single-electron transistors would represent an approach to developing less power–consuming microelectronic devices if room temperature operation and industry-compatible fabrication were possible. We present a concept based on stripes of small, self-assembled, colloidal, metal nanoparticles on a back-gate device architecture, which leads to well-defined and well-controllable transistor characteristics. This Coulomb transistor has three main advantages. By using the scalable Langmuir-Blodgett method, we combine high-quality chemically synthesized metal nanoparticles with standard lithography techniques. The resulting transistors show on/off ratios above 90%, reliable and sinusoidal Coulomb oscillations, and room temperature operation. Furthermore, this concept allows for versatile tuning of the device properties such as Coulomb energy gap and threshold voltage, as well as period, position, and strength of the oscillations.

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